Roberts and Dally turn tables to close out CYCA Trophy–Passage Series

Ray Roberts (OneSails Racing) turned the tables on Victorian yachtsman Rob Hanna (Shogun V) today to claim Division 1 honours in the CYCA Trophy-Passage Series, while Khaleesi did the same to her sistership Nine Dragons in Division 2, Andrew and Pauline Dally basking in their first major win since buying the former Exile.

Workforce International founder Roberts purchased the former Living Doll two three months ago and is preparing her for his first Rolex Sydney Hobart in five years. Finishing second to Hanna’s TP52 yesterday, he sailed a brilliant race to take almost four minutes out of Shogun V on corrected time. Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban took line honours and finished third overall again, to finish the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia hosted series third overall.

“This was an important win for us ahead of the Sydney Hobart,” Roberts said this afternoon at the CYCA. “We are still testing sails and learning to use them.”

OneSails Singapore representative and crew member Bruce Anson interjected: “We’ve got four new sails arriving from Italy that we still have to test and a few others.”

Of today’s race, Roberts said: “It was critical to get a good start, because the breeze was very light and shifty. We could see breeze in Watsons Bay, so we positioned ourselves for it to make a good exit from the Harbour.”

Named 2006 Ocean Racer of the Year, Roberts disappeared from the Australian yachting scene in 2010 and concentrated his efforts in Asia with great success. “I needed a rest from Australia – I needed to do something different – different boats and different races. I’m back fresh and looking forward to the 70th Hobart and to racing here again,” said the 18 Hobart race veteran.  

In Division 2, Andrew and Pauline Dally’s DK46 Khaleesi turned the tables on sistership and yesterday’s winner, Nine Dragons (Bob Cox). The Middle Harbour YC pair regularly face-off. Nine Dragons did not have a good day, finishing 12th overall, to drop out of contention. Ron Forster/Phil Damp’s Beneteau 40, Ariel, popped up in second place with St George Midnight Rambler third.

Those placings translated to a Division 2 series win for Khaleesi, with St George Midnight Rambler, the Ker 40 owned by Ed Psaltis/Bob Thomas/Michael Bencsik second overall and Ariel, third.  

Andrew Dally commented: “We’re ecstatic with our win – it’s our first one – and with the Hobart coming up, it’s good news. We have great friendly rivalry with Nine Dragons and they usually beat us, but we’ve been taking baby steps and sometimes we thought we’d never get there, but we did.”

Dally described the day: “In the Harbour was lovely and we had a good start and got to North Head in close company with St George Midnight Rambler, but there was lump left over from yesterday and the sea was a bit confused offshore so it was a bit challenging.”

The two divisions are combined for the ORCi result, with Ariel taking the prize overall from St George Midnight Rambler, with Shogun V third. Warwick Sherman’s Occasional Coarse Language 2, a Ker Gts 43, claimed PHS overall, adding a second place to yesterday’s win. Ariel was second overall, three points adrift, with Les Goodridge’s X-50, Wax Lyrical third overall after winning today. 

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson sent the boats on Course 8, taking the fleet on a 24 nautical mile race from Shark Island, to North Head, windward up to Long Reef, around a mark and return to the Watsons Bay finish line.

Although very light and variable before 11.00am, east-nor-easterly winds materialized in the nick of time; the swell of yesterday almost washed away and the sun appearing as Thompson fired the warning signal.

As Ichi Ban crew member Jeremy Rae said: “A good little course, 8-10 knots and we slowly extended our lead over OneSails as we got further into the race. Conditions gave us the chance to check our systems and refine our crew work.” Ichi Ban beat OneSails Racing home by nearly seven minutes.

The CYCA Trophy-Passage Series, combined with the Bird Island Race sailed earlier this month, and the non-droppable Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, will decide the Southern Cross Cup. Held every odd year from 1967 to 2001, it was reintroduced last year as an annual event.

Full results:

By Di Pearson, CYCA Media

Jeanneau JY60
M.O.S.S Australia
Cyclops Marine
Selden Asymetric Rib Technology
Race Yachts
West Systems